China’s National New Energy Vehicle Technology Innovation Center (NEVC) and Austrian high-tech company Easelink have initiated a strategic partnership by signing a memorandum of understanding to make automated conductive charging the leading technology for automated charging in China.
The automated charging technology Matrix Charging consists of two components: the Matrix Charging Connector is the unit installed in the vehicle underbody, and the counterpartis the Matrix Charging Pad, which is installed in the parking space. As soon as the vehicle parks above the charging pad, the connector is lowered down from the vehicle, and the vehicle is automatically charged. Matrix Charging targets power levels of 22kW AC and 50kW DC. In contrast to inductive charging, Matrix Charging is based on conductive charging with 99% transfer efficiency. Both components are coupled together via a direct physical (conductive) contact for the charging process.
An integrated cleaning routine handles the issue of soiling. By embedding the robust charging pads flush with the parking surfaces, additional barriers in densely developed areas can be avoided. The high user acceptance of this convenient charging solution can already be seen in various pilot projects in Europe and China. Mobility service providers such as e-taxi companies and car-sharing companies are actively engaging in such projects. OEMs, International public utilities and cities have also expressed interest in Matrix Charging. NEVC and Easelink showcased for first time the Matrix Charging technology in the autonomously driving BAIC Lite vehicle at the World Intelligent Connected Vehicle Conference in Beijing in 2019.
“As soon as electric vehicles are parking autonomously, without a driver, the function of automated charging will become crucial. At the same time, a great potential for charging is seen in times when vehicles are standing still. By charging frequently during typical parking stops (at home, in the city, at shops, at work…), the power transfer needed for the electric vehicle can be spread throughout the day, especially when solar energy is available,” said Easelink CEO Hermann Stockinger.
The sourcing of advanced core technologies with global influence is handled in China by the National New Energy Vehicle Innovation Technology Center (NEVC), a platform supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China. NEVC is supported by multibillion dollar companies ranging from lead OEMs such as BAIC, BYD and Geely.
With the support of the Chinese state and industry, NEVC will play a major role in defining how new energy vehicles are charged in the future.